The New Volunteering: Making a Difference During Covid-19
During the Covid-19 crisis that has affected us all, nonprofits have been especially hard hit. The fear of either spreading or contracting the virus, combined with social distancing restrictions, have left many organizations without the volunteers they need to function. As a result, tens of thousands of charitable activities that normally take place across the country have been postponed or canceled.
This situation also has negatively impacted many people who genuinely want to help. They are frustrated that they’re unable to volunteer services to the organizations they support, and so they are finding other ways to make a difference that also keep them safe. Some volunteers are donating their time to crisis helplines, or translating urgent COVID-19 information into other languages. Some are making masks for their communities, while others are increasing their donations to worthy charitable causes.
One such volunteer is U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Johnnie Yellock, a medically retired Veteran who has dedicated his time and energy to serving the needs of fellow Vets and wounded service members through nonprofit organizations including CCF. Johnnie recently has been safely volunteering his time to the nonprofit Mission Moms.
Mission Moms was founded by Kathryn Flores in Argyle, Texas; and one of their projects is Mobile Meals. Volunteers gather on a Friday night to collect and organize food items and groceries, then deliver them to needy families on Saturday morning. In addition, Mission Moms has partnered with a local restaurant – Marty B’s – that is also providing hot meals to families.
During the past 23 weeks, Mission Moms has delivered more than 7,000 bags of groceries to 32,000 individuals, and provided 650 backpacks filled with supplies to children who will be soon returning to school. Marty B’s has provided more than 1,500 hot meals.
“In these very difficult times, it’s more important than ever to become involved in your local community, but to do so safely,” says Staff Sergeant Yellock. “It might be easy to fall prey to all the negativity, but your actions are needed now more than ever, and your efforts are more impactful than ever before. My hope is that volunteers will continue to find ways to help and support people and organizations in their communities.”
In this clearly pre-COVID-19 photo, U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Johnnie Yellock greets some great kids while working with Mission Moms.
These days, scenes like the one above involve masks and a bit more distance; and volunteering is more important than ever.